Preschool children's exposure to story grammar elements during parent–child book reading
Twenty-three preschool-age children, 3;6 (years; months) to 4;1, were videotaped separately with their mothers and fathers while each mother and father read a different unfamiliar storybook to them. The text from the unfamiliar storybooks was parsed and coded into story grammar elements and all parental extratextual utterances were transcribed and coded for (1) their relationship to the story grammar elements found within the storybook, and (2) the natural strategies parents used to direct their children's attention to these elements. Children's overall exposure to story grammar elements during book reading was also explored for its relationship to their language abilities. Results indicated that parents focused significantly more on the resolution, attempt, and consequence compared to the initiating event and plan, and most frequently used the text and pictures as strategies for recruiting their children's attention to the story grammar elements within the book. In addition, the frequency of parental utterances related to story grammar elements was negatively correlated with children's language abilities. This study did not examine the complexity or depth of parental utterances related to story grammar elements. These findings provide initial evidence that children may derive their understanding of story grammar at least in part through their parents' extratextual discussions during parent–child book reading.
Breit-Smith, A; van Kleeck, A; Prendeville, JA; Pan, W
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